Rick and Morty Season 4, Episode 8 Review- The Vat of Acid Episode
Rick Sanchez, I knew you were a sociopathic monster that cares little besides himself, but dang, man. The “Vat of Acid Episode” hammered home how petty Rick can be. That’s what everyone who’s watched it says, and I see no reason to argue with that. Comedic sociopathy aside, the “Vat of Acid Episode” hammered home an important point for me. That point being how far Rick will go to keep Morty under his toxic influence.
The Vat of Acid
So, as the title implies, the episode starts with Rick and Morty trying to escape a shady deal gone wrong by jumping into a vat of fake acid with breathing tubes and wait for the bad guys to leave. They don’t leave, they stick around and talk, and it looks like the “Vat of Acid Episode” is going to be a one-note joke with Rick and Morty having to wait it out. Then Morty loses patience, they shoot the guys, and Morty tears into Rick over the fact that he. was. WRONG.
If you remember “Morty’s Mind Blowers”, Rick erases any memories that make him look stupid in front of Morty. It’s how he maintains the image that he’s a freaking god in Morty’s eyes and keeps him under his toxic influence. Rather than admit he made a mistake and shatter the image he’s cultivated in Morty’s mind, Rick decides to reinforce it in the cruelest (and funniest) way possible.
One Big Setup
Spoiler alert, but Rick indulges Morty and gives him a remote that acts like the “save and load” function in a video game. As a gamer, I find this as a nice jab at gamers who save scum so they can indulge in crazy actions without consequence. Once he gets bored, Rick cruelly reveals the truth behind the remote: it doesn’t rewind time. It shunts him to a branching reality, kills the Morty there, and puts him in. Then when Rick resets everything, Morty has to deal with all the consequences of all his horrible actions. In hindsight, we should have seen this twist coming given how much Justin and Dan hate time travel. It doesn’t stop the reveal from being hilarious, though.
That’s not the funniest part, though. The funniest part is that this whole “Vat of Acid Episode” was Rick putting his grandson through this ordeal to set him up with only one way out: a vat of fake acid. He did all this out of a petty need to prove that he’s right!
There’s only one other time I’ve seen a cartoon character resort to such twisted lengths over something so petty: Eric Cartman in “Scott Tenorman must Die.” I thought that was one of the darkest things I’ve ever seen in a cartoon. I mean, Cartman tricked a kid who crossed him into eating chili made out of his parents. Yet Rick made Morty responsible for offending everyone possible and committing all sorts of horrible actions, INCLUDING CANNIBALISM WHEN HE GOT STRANDED IN A PLANE CRASH!
Morty Got (and lost) A Girlfriend
Yeah, in one iteration, Morty got a cute girlfriend with glasses and they were very happy together. Then went on a plane trip that crashed in the mountains and they had to eat the dead to survive. It was just like the book Alive, which tells the real life story of a plane crash in the Andes with the exact same scenario. One of the writers admitted the story traumatized him as a kid!
Morty and his girlfriend survive, only for Jerry’s stupidity to send him back to before they met. If it weren’t so funny, this would be so hilarious.
Never Make Fun of Rick. EVER.
People are saying that this is one of the best episodes Rick and Morty has ever done, and I have to agree. It’s my second favorite of the season and at least in the top five of the show. The way the writers mislead everyone until the end to reveal it to be the set-up to a punchline is crazy and hilarious. And the moral of the whole “Vat of Acid Episode” is that Rick hates being told he’s wrong and will do anything to prove otherwise. Considering how this is the guy who took down an intergalactic government because they crossed them, we shouldn’t be surprised. Still funny, though!
I Give “The Vat of Acid Episode” a Perfect 5/5
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P.S.- I hate Jerry as much as Rick does now.